Preliminary study on the feeding habits of cleaver wrasse, Xyrichthys novacula (pisces: labridae) in the strait of sicily (mediterranean sea).


A. M. Beltrano, L. Cannizzaro, S. Vitale, A. Milazzo


Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR) - Istituto per l'Ambiente Marino Costiero (IAMC) Via L. Vaccara, 61 - 91026  Mazara del Vallo (TP), Italy.



Abstract: Feeding habits of Xyrichthys novacula (Osteichthyes, Labridae) were investigated, in order to provide some new data of its diet from different study area. Specimens were collected by trammel net and gill net, at Selinunte (S/W Sicily), during the summer 2001.The diet was constituted mainly by Crustacea and Mollusca. Particularly, Anomura and Tellinidae were dominant in terms of percentage frequency of occurrence, percentage number, percentage volume and percentage of index of relative importance. Moreover, the other prey items such as Plagiocardium papillosum, Abra alba and Nucula nucleus were very important as showed by the indexes calculated. The cleaver wrasse feeds mostly on benthic organisms belonging to the fine, well-sorted sand assemblage and shows a different dietary composition correlated to size classes.


Key Words: feeding habits, diet, Xyrichthys novacula, Strait of Sicily, Mediterranean sea.



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